Rosy Rosé for ro­man­tics

Rosé wines are best­sellers, es­pe­cially in the month of St Valen­tine, writes Gra­ham Howe

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THESE de­light­ful wines come in ev­ery shade from bright pink to cherry red, coral to onion skin, salmon to cop­pery blush. The colours of rosé wines are a de­light to the eye — and find sex ap­peal in a wine world tra­di­tion­ally di­vided into red and white. Made in still, sparkling and blanc de noir (white from black) styles from Shi­raz and San­giovese to Pino­tage and Pinot Noir, rosé wines are ver­sa­tile rang­ing from play­ful pic­nic wines to se­ri­ous wines which make great food matches. Think pink and try these new re­leases:

Buiten­verwacht­ing de Noir 2011.

Blanc

A peren­nial crowd-pleaser, this blend of Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon, Caber­net Franc and Mer­lot grapes grown on the es­tate in the Con­stan­tia Wine Val­ley is a quin­tes­sen­tial pic­nic wine with aro­matic peach and straw­berry flavours and lin­ger­ing spicy fin­ish. Fab­u­lous with Mediter­ranean fare.

Do­maine Grier Rosé 2010.

This wine is part of an ex­cit­ing range made in the south of France from vine­yards owned by the Grier fam­ily of Vil­liera in Stel­len­bosch. Made from Gre­nache and Carig­nan to en­sure fresh fruit it has a del­i­cate kiss of pink, onion skin hues, hints of red berries and a de­light­ful min­er­al­ity with a fresh, light fin­ish.

Kleine Zalze Gamay Noir Rosé 2011.

One of my favourite Cape rosé wines is made from a tra­di­tional Beau­jo­lais cul­ti­var grown in old vine­yards in Welling­ton. A ro­man­tic pink coral hue opens up into a dry wine with good acid­ity, de­light­ful straw- berry and cherry nu­ances on the nose and the palate with soft, juicy tan­nins.

Klooven­burg White from Red Brut 2011.

Made from Shi­raz, the sig­na­ture grape of this old fam­ily farm in the Swart­land, this sparkling Blanc de Noir has ro­man­tic pink salmon hues, a frothy mousse and ripe cherry and can­dyfloss char­ac­ter lead­ing to a crisp dry fi­nale.

Also try the Shi­raz Rosé 2011,

a still wine with an­tipasti and ta­pas.

Lind­say’s Whimsy Shi­raz Rosé 2010.

I en­joyed a re­cent tast­ing of the su­perb Sla­ley wines with Lind­say Hunt­ing, one of the own­ers this renowned fam­ily cel­lar in the pre­mium Si­mons­berg area. His epony­mous wine shows typ­i­cally spicy Shi­raz char­ac­ter in a charm­ing wine en­riched by creamy vanilla tones from ten months on lees.

Mor­gen­ster Rosé 2011.

Caruso

Made from San­giovese, the great Tus­can grape of Chi­anti, the bright pink prom­ise of vi­brant fresh fruit is ful­filled in en­tic­ing aro­mas of pome­gran­ate and wa­ter­melon. Hints of sweet cin­na­mon spice and fresh berries in a lus­cious rosé wine which sings of sum­mer as evoca­tively as the great opera singer.

Pierre Jour­dan Cu­vée Belle Rose MCC N/V.

One of six Méth­ode Cap Clas­sique wines from the cel­lar of Haute Cabrière in the Franschhoek Wine Val­ley is sim­ply made for ro­manc­ing. Made from Pinot Noir, this “beau­ti­ful rose” is salmon-pink with a fine mousse, el­e­gant savoury flavours and a dry, clean fin­ish to match rich shell­fish.

Rhe­bok­skloof Viog­nier/shi­raz 2011.

This maiden dry blend from an eigh­teenth cen­tury farm on the gran­ite slopes of Paarl Rock has a se­duc­tively pale blush with al­lur­ing peach and apricot blos­som aro­mas. Made mostly from Viog­nier with fleshy flavours and flo­ral notes, it has an in­trigu­ing spicy twist from a splash of Shi­raz.

Si­mon­sig Pinot Noir MCC Brut Rosé 2010.

This limited re­lease sparkling wine un­der a Wool­worths la­bel is made with­out the ad­di­tion of sul­phur. It has a del­i­cate onion skin hue, am­ple fresh fruit in­ten­sity and a fine mousse lead­ing to a mouth­ful of savoury, earthy red berry flavours and a crisp, re­fresh­ing, dry fin­ish. Great with sushi.

Vil­liera Tra­di­tion MCC Brut Rosé N/V.

One of six MCC wines from the Grier fam­ily farm in Stel­len­bosch, one of the pioneers of bot­tle-fer­mented sparkling wines in the Cape. This unique blend of Pino­tage, Chardon­nay and Pinot Noir has a cop­pery pink hue and cas­cad­ing bub­bles — a rich, el­e­gant mouth­ful of savoury fruit.

Wel­tevrede Lin­delize Brut MCC Rosé.

Poet wine­maker Philip Jonker ded­i­cates this ro­man­tic wine to his bare­foot Ka­roo wife. He de­scribes the gen­tle blush as “like the flush when touched by a beau­ti­ful emo­tion, the colour of de­light, of some­one in love”. Made from Pinot Noir, it tempts with del­i­cate flavours of straw­ber­ries and cream.

Win­ters Drift Rosé 2010.

Made from Mer­lot grapes, this aro­matic wine from the Molteno ap­ple and wine farm in El­gin has a salmon pink colour to match Valen­tine’s Day with ripe flavours of cher­ries, plums and cran­ber­ries — and a clean, dry fin­ish.

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